Navigation Links
Bees 'self-medicate' when infected with some pathogens
Date:3/30/2012

Research from North Carolina State University shows that honey bees "self-medicate" when their colony is infected with a harmful fungus, bringing in increased amounts of antifungal plant resins to ward off the pathogen.

"The colony is willing to expend the energy and effort of its worker bees to collect these resins," says Dr. Michael Simone-Finstrom, a postdoctoral research scholar in NC State's Department of Entomology and lead author of a paper describing the research. "So, clearly this behavior has evolved because the benefit to the colony exceeds the cost."

Wild honey bees normally line their hives with propolis, a mixture of plant resins and wax that has antifungal and antibacterial properties. Domesticated honey bees also use propolis, to fill in cracks in their hives. However, researchers found that, when faced with a fungal threat, bees bring in significantly more propolis 45 percent more, on average. The bees also physically removed infected larvae that had been parasitized by the fungus and were being used to create fungal spores.

Researchers know propolis is an effective antifungal agent because they lined some hives with a propolis extract and found that the extract significantly reduced the rate of infection.

And apparently bees can sometimes distinguish harmful fungi from harmless ones, since colonies did not bring in increased amounts of propolis when infected with harmless fungal species. Instead, the colonies relied on physically removing the spores.

However, the self-medicating behavior does have limits. Honey bee colonies infected with pathogenic bacteria did not bring in significantly more propolis despite the fact that the propolis also has antibacterial properties. "There was a slight increase, but it was not statistically significant," Simone-Finstrom says. "That is something we plan to follow up on."

There may be a lesson here for domestic beekeepers. "Historically, U.S. beekeepers preferred colonies that used less of this resin, because it is sticky and can be difficult to work with," Simone-Finstrom says. "Now we know that this is a characteristic worth promoting, because it seems to offer the bees some natural defense."


'/>"/>
Contact: Matt Shipman
matt_shipman@ncsu.edu
919-515-6386
North Carolina State University
Source:Eurekalert  

Related biology news :

1. Efavirenz-based initial therapies associated with better outcomes in HIV-infected adults
2. For HIV-infected children, quality of caregiver relationship is crucial
3. The protein Srebp2 drives cholesterol formation in prion-infected neuronal cells
4. Malaria-infected cells stiffen, block blood flow
5. Acinetobacter baumannii found growing in nearly half of infected patient rooms
6. Special delivery: Nematode-infected insect cadavers
7. UGA licenses invention that kills food-borne pathogens in minutes
8. Flexible neck in cell-receptor DC-SIGN targets more pathogens
9. Designing probiotics that ambush gut pathogens
10. Daily bathroom showers may deliver face full of pathogens, says CU-Boulder study
11. Smithsonian scientists find the frog legs trade may facilitate spread of pathogens
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
Related Image:
Bees 'self-medicate' when infected with some pathogens
(Date:3/23/2017)... PUNE, India , March 23, 2017 The report ... Equipment, Touchless Biometric), Industry, and Geography - Global Forecast to 2022", published by ... growing at a CAGR of 29.63% between 2017 and 2022. ... ... Logo ...
(Date:3/22/2017)... YORK , March 21, 2017 ... Marketing Cloud used by retailers such as 1-800-Flowers ... its platform — Product Recommendations and Replenishment. Using Optimove,s ... give more personalized product and replenishment recommendations to ... but also on predictions of customer intent drawn ...
(Date:3/20/2017)... March 20, 2017 PMD Healthcare announces the ... and Wellness Management System (WMS), a remote, real-time lung ... 2010, PMD Healthcare is a Medical Device, Digital Health, ... dedicated to creating innovative solutions that empower people to ... intent focus, PMD developed the first ever personal spirometer, ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:4/21/2017)... , ... April 21, 2017 , ... ... dedicated to nourishing a range of emerging bio and technology start-ups, is hosting ... 21, 2017. This double event will start with libations and networking at 3:30 ...
(Date:4/20/2017)... (PRWEB) , ... April 20, 2017 , ... USDM ... for the life sciences and healthcare industries, is pleased to announce Holger Braemer ... established USDM subsidiary “USDM Europe GmbH” based in Germany. , Braemer is an ...
(Date:4/20/2017)... ... April 20, 2017 , ... Parallel6™ , the leader in mClinical™ technologies ... they were named one of the 2017 Top 10 eClinical Trial Management Solution ... pharmaceutical industry. , “We take pride in honoring Parallel6 as one of the top ...
(Date:4/19/2017)... ... , ... The Vibrating Orifice Aerosol Generator (VOAG) was developed ... of known diameters for research applications such as for calibrating droplet measuring instruments, ... droplets. , The VOAG requires forcing liquid out of an orifice about ...
Breaking Biology Technology: